Yaoshang Joint Cultural Event at Bangalore
by Okram Pinky
Holi is the only festival which brings happiness and smile within us. All over India, Holi is been celebrated wonderfully. Colorful faces are extremely happy. But most of the people does not know why Holi is celebrated, therefore for those who are interested to know I am giving few information here.
The celebration of Holi is very ancient in its origin. And by its very origin, it celebrates an ultimate triumph of the ‘good’ over the ‘evil’. While, a feast of colors associated with the Holi, is the face of this celebration, the original reason of celebrating Holi, lies in its soul. And this gives us the ‘why’ of this ancient festival. Literally “Holi” signifies “burning” in Indian language. But, how it came to be associated with ‘burning’ is a story. The reference is found only in ancient Indian mythology. And it is the legend of Hiranyakashipu, to whom the celebration of Holi is associated.
Way back in the pre-Christian era, there lived a demon king named Hiranyakashipu in ancient India. He wanted to avenge the death of his younger brother. The brother, also a demon, had been killed by Lord Vishnu, one of the supreme trios, monitoring the life and death in the universe, (according to the Hindu belief). To take on Vishnu, the tyrant king wanted to become the king of the heaven, earth and the underworld. He performed severe penance and prayer for many years to gain enough power. Finally he was granted a boon. Powered by the boon, Hiranyakshipu thought he had become invincible. Arrogant, he ordered all in his kingdom to worship him, instead of God. The demon king, however, had a very young son, named Prahalad. He was an ardent devotee of Vishnu. Despite his father’s order, Prahalad continued to pray to Vishnu. So the demon king wanted to kill his son. He asked the favor of his sister Holika who, because of a boon, was immune to fire. They planned that Prahalad would be burned to death. A pyre was lit up and Holika sat on it, clutching Prahalad. Yet, at the end Prahalad emerged unscathed by the fire, And Holika, the demon, was burned to ashes. The earnest devotion and complete submission to Lord Vishnu saved young Prahlad. Thus was the triumph of Prahlad, the representative of good spirits. Thus, defeated Holika. Later, even the demon king Hiranyakashipu was killed by Lord Vishnu. But that is quite a different story. It is from Holika, that the Holi originated. This legend is relived even today on the Holi-eve when the pyre is re-lit in the form of bonfires. Even today, people celebrate this occasion. Huge bonfires are lit up every year on the eve of the full moon night of the Holi to burn the spirit of the evils. Hence the story associated with the soul of the celebration.
Now, let us look into the face of it. How did the celebration of Holi assume a colorful face? Well, it is linked to yet another legend, the legends of Krishna. Though of much later origin, still, it was in the pre-Christian era. According to the Hindu belief, Krishna was a reincarnation of lord Vishnu himself. It was Krishna, the king of the ancient city of Dwarka, who popularized the tradition of Holi. The origin of the colorful and frolicking tone of Holi lies in the boyhood of Krishna. It all came up as part of his pranks; he used to play with his boyhood mates of Gokul and Vrindavan. Situated in north India, these are the places where he spent his childhood. It was at this time of year, Krishna used to play pranks by drenching the village girls, with water and colors. At first it offended the girls. But they were so fond of this mischievous boy that soon their anger melted away. And, it did not take long for other boys to join in, making it a popular sport in the village. Later, as Krishna grew up, the play assumed a new dimension. It added more colors to Krishna’s legendary love life. The legend of Krishna’s courtship with Radha, and playing pranks with the ‘Gopi’s. The girls in the ‘dairy’ village of Gokul were mostly milkmaids, and, hence locally known as the Gopis. The same tradition has transpired through the ages, turning it into a community festival of the masses. As time kept flowing, the culture spread roots to other regions of the country. The Holi play of Krishna is documented in hundreds of ancient paintings, murals, sculptures and scriptures found across the subcontinent.
Hope this short information helped you to know why exactly Holi is celebrated. Everybody deserves to know the origin and I have done a bit of mine. Holi (Yaosang) is also celebrated by Manipuries in Bangalore. The heartfelt credit goes to Manipuri Meitei association Bangalore (MMAB) And Bangalore Manipuri Student association (BMSA). Yaosang Sport was held on 24th feb, 2013 at Country Club Lakeside, Anekal Taluk, Attibele Hobli, Geddannahalli, Bangalore.
All types of sports were held for women, men and children namely chaphu thugai bi, Marbal race, thouri chingnabi, football, music chair, Carom, Chess, race for different categories etc. At the end of the day prizes were distributed to the winners. On 30th, March 2013, Joint Cultural event was held and it was organized by the same above mentioned Associations at Sirur Park, Opposite to Mantri Mall, Bangalore. Mr. Ginesh Gundu Rao, MLA of Ganghi Nagar Constituency Bangalore, Dr. W. Bhudhendra Singh and Mr Umesh babu, Ganhi Ngar youth congress president were the chief guest, president and guest of honor of the event respectively. Cultural dance performed by Sony Nongmaithem was amazing. The newly form Bangalore Manipur Student’s members were introduced to the crowd present on the day. The last program of the event was the only most eagerly awaited program, which is the “Grand Thabal Chongba”. Chief guest Mr. Dinesh Gundu Rao inaugurated the Thabal and all the beautiful ladies and gentlemen joined along with him. When the Music started for a moment we forgot, we are in Bangalore. The homely feeling was all around. Small kids were running here and there. Ladies with beautiful cultural dresses were looking stunning.
All of us had a magical night; we were surrounded with the happiness which we deserve. The emptiness of missing home was filled with all homely feelings for few hours. Thanks to all the concern persons who have made this day possible
More Photos of the Event:
*Photography Credit and Copyright : Muhen Khundrakpam
* Photos is sent by Okram Pinky